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Or four-and-twenty times the pilot's glass
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass;
What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.

King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar’st thou venture ?

Tax of impudence,-
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,-
Traduced by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Seared otherwise ; ne worse of worst extended,
With vilest torture let my life be ended."
King. Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth

His powerful sound within an organ weak;
And what impossibility would slay
In common sense, sense saves another

Thy life is dear; for all, that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate ;
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
That happiness and prime can happy call.
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try;
That ministers thine own death, if I die.

Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, un pitied let me die ;
And well deserved. Not helping, death's my
But, if I help, what do you promise me?

King. Make thy demand.

But will you make it even ? King. Ay, by my sceptre, and my hopes of help.3

Hel. Then shalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand, What husband in thy power I will command.


1 Let me be stigmatized as a strumpet, and, in addition (although that could not be worse, or a more extended evil than what I have mentioned, the loss of my honor, which is the worst that could happen), let me die with torture. Ne is nor.

2 Property seems to be used here for performance or achievement, singular as it may seem.

3 Thirlby proposes to read hopes of heaven.

Exempted be from me the arrogance
To choose from forth the royal blood of France;
My low and humble name to propagate
With any branch or impage of thy state;?
But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know
Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.

King. Here is my hand; the premises observed,
Thy will by my performance shall be served ;
So make the choice of thy own time; for I,
Thy resolved patient, on thee still rely.
More should I question thee, and more I must;
Though more to know, could not be more to trust,
From whence thou cam’st, how tended on, but rest
Unquestioned welcome, and undoubted blessed.
Give me some help here, ho !- If thou proceed
As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.

[Flourish. Exeunt.

SCENE II. Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's


Enter Countess and Clown. Count. Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of

your breeding. Člo. I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught. I know my business is but to the court.

Count. To the court! why, what place make you special, when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!

Clo. Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may easily put it off at court. He that cannot make a leg, put off's cap, kiss his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and, indeed, such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for

1 The old copy reads " image of thy state.” Warburton proposed rmpage, which Steevens rejects, saying, unadvisedly,“ there is no such word." It is evident that Shakspeare formed it from “an impe, a scion, or young slip of a tree.”

the court: but, for me, I have an answer will serve all men.

Count. Marry, that's a bountiful answer, that fits all questions.

Clo. It is like a barber's chair, that fits all buttocks; the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn-buttock, or any buttock.

Count. Will your answer serve fit to all questions?

Clo. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for your taffeta punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's fore-finger,' as a pancake for Shrove-Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; nay, as the pudding to his skin.

Count. Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all questions?

Clo. From below your duke, to beneath your constable, it will fit any question.

Count. It must be an answer of most monstrous size, that must fit all demands.

Clo. But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that belongs to’t. Ask me if I am a courtier; it shall do you no harm to learn.

Count. To be young again, if we could. I will be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I

pray you, sir, are you a courtier ? Clo. O Lord, sir. There's a simple putting off; -more, more, a hundred of them.

Count. Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you. Clo. O Lord, sir.—Thick, thick, spare not me.

Count. I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.

Clo. O Lord, sir.—Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.

1 The rush ring seems to have been a kind of love token, for plighting of troth among rustic lovers.

? A ridicule on this silly expletive of speech, then in vogue at court. Thus Clove and Orange, in Every Man in his Humor: “You conceive me, sir ?-O Lord, sir!

Count. You were lately whipped, sir, as I think.
Clo. O Lord, sir.—Spare not me.

Count. Do you cry, O Lord, sir, at your whipping, and spare not me? Indeed, your O Lord, sir, is very sequent to your whipping; you would answer very well to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.

Clo. I ne'er had worse luck in my life, in myO Lord, sir. I see, things may serve long, but not

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Count. I play the noble housewife with the time, to entertain it so merrily with a fool.

Clo. O Lord, sir. -Why, there't serves well again.
Count. An end, sir, to your business. Give Helen

And urge her to a present answer back.
Commend me to my kinsmen, and my son ;
This is not much.

Clo. Not much commendation to them.

Count. Not much employment for you. You understand me?

Clo. Most fruitfully; I am there before my legs. Count. Haste you again. [Exeunt severally.

SCENE III. Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.

Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES. Laf. They say, miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it, that we make trifles of terrors; ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.

Par. Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder, that hath shot out in our latter times.

Ber. And so 'tis.
Laf. To be relinquished of the artists,

1 Common, ordinary.


2 Fear means here an object of fear

Par. So I say; both of Galen and Paracelsus.
Laf. Of all the learned and authentic fellows,-
Par. Right; so I say.
Laf. That gave him out incurable,-
Par. Why, there 'tis; so say I too.
Laf. Not to be helped, -
Par. Right: as 'twere, a man assured of an-
Laf. Uncertain life, and sure death.
Par. Just; you say well; so would I have said.
Laf. I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.

Par. It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you shall read it in- What do you call there ?

Laf. A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.

Par. That's it I would have said ; the very same.

Laf. Why, your dolphin? is not lustier : "fore me, I speak in respect

Par. Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange; that is the brief and the tedious of it; and he is of a most facinorous spirit, that will not acknowledge it to be the

Laf. Very hand of Heaven.
Par. Ay, so I say.
Laf. In a most weak-

Par. And debile minister, great power, great transcendence; which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made, than alone the recovery of the king, as to be?

Laf. Generally thankful.

Enter King, Helena, and Attendants. Par. I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.

1 The dauphin was formerly so written, but it is doubtful whether Lafeu means to allude to the prince or the fish. The old orthography is therefore continued.

2 Dr. Johnson thought this and some preceding speeches in the scene were erroneously given to Parolles instead of to Lafeu. This seems very probable, for the humor of the scene consists in Parolles's pretensions to knowledge and sentiments which he has not.

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